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Old 10-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #1
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Sick Gold Gourami

Hello everyone,


I recently purchased an old 75 gallon tank from a friend of mine. I cleaned the side glass panels with vinegar and rinsed the tank several times with water until the water was pretty clear. I decided I would start things off buying a couple of rope fish (5-6 inches) and two gold gouramis (2 -3 inches). Eventually, both rope fish ended up dying, so I tested the nitrate levels and found them to be pretty high (about 40-80 ppm - maybe more). I use an API Freshwater test kit and there is not much difference in color at that measurement.

Therefore, I did a 75 percent water change and then a 50 percent water change to finally bring the nitrate levels down to an acceptable level. Nitrite levels are 0 and the ammonia levels are maybe a little high (again hard to tell with my API test kit) but still relatively close to 0.


After the water change, I noticed one of my gouramis has a red spot on his body and he often rests at the bottom of the tank. Therefore, I would like to know what you guys think is making my gourami sick and what is making my tank have so many nitrates?


Here is some additional information for you.


The tank is old - there is some black dirt in the aquarium gravel.


I am conducting an experiment to determine if the wood in the tank is causing the high nitrate problem.


I feed my fish Hikari blood worms and tetra tropical flakes. I put worms in the tank once a day and feed the fish flakes twice a day.


The tank has an undergravel filter and a magnum 350 canister filter.


The temperature in my aquarium is usually around 76-78 degrees.


I have a healthy 30 gallon tank with two goldfish in it - I could place my gouramis in this tank while I fix my 75 gallon tank if necessary. I don't have a heater in my goldfish tank though.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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When you cleaned up the tank, did you change the media? Did rinse out the gravel? If so you've killed all the bb, and your going to have to recycle the tank, you could take some gravel out of your already cycled tank and help seed,
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hey Kevin,

Thanks for your advice. Are you sure this is a problem caused by the bacteria cycle? My nitrite and ammonia levels are pretty much normal; and, if my bacteria cycle was creating the problem, I would expect these levels to be high as well. In addition, my fish were only in my tank for 2-3 days. I guess I just have a hard time believing that four fish can pollute a 75 gallon tank that quickly?

I certainly could be wrong, but I suspect something is in the gravel that is adding a lot of nitrates to the tank.

How would you suggest I fix this problem?

To answer your question, the tank has no benificial bacteria because I just started putting fish in it 4 days ago. The tank has had nothing but water, gravel, fake plants, etc in it before then.
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